Objective: To examine the costs of hospitalizations related to heart failure (HF) among patients aged 18 to 64 years by diagnosis status.
Background: There are few reports on HF-related hospitalization costs in patients aged 18 to 64 years, although this group has had increased HF hospitalization rates in recent decades.
Methods: Using the 2005 MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters inpatient data set, we identified 23,216 hospitalizations for which HF was the primary or secondary diagnosis among patients aged 18 to 64 years who had a noncapitated health insurance plan. We used multivariate regression to analyze the association between patient characteristics and both hospitalization costs and length of stay (LOS).
Results: For the entire population, the mean cost of hospitalization was $23,077; the cost was higher when HF was a secondary rather than the primary diagnosis ($25,325 vs $17,654; P <.001). After controlling for covariates, hospitalizations with HF as a secondary diagnosis resulted in $3944 higher costs than those with HF as the primary diagnosis (P <.001). Among those with HF as a secondary diagnosis, the cost of hospitalization with the primary diagnosis of ischemic heart disease was $14,989 higher than it was when the primary diagnosis was noncardiovascular disease and nonrespiratory conditions (P <.001). However, patients in the latter group had a longer LOS.
Conclusions: Information on the costs of HF-related hospitalizations can be used as inputs in economic evaluations such as cost-effectiveness analyses and as references for policy makers in making resource allocation decisions.